EU industry CO2 fell 11 percent in 2009: analysts
LONDON (Reuters) - Carbon dioxide emissions by companies regulated under the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme fell by 11 percent last year in the wake of the economic downturn, analysts said on Thursday.
Emissions by heavy industry across the 27-nation bloc fell to 1.886 billion tonnes in 2009, 233 million lower than the previous year, Point Carbon estimated.
The drop means there was a surplus in allocated EU carbon permits of 77 million tonnes, Point Carbon added.
It said emissions from utilities fell 88 million tonnes to 1.18 billion tonnes -- a 7 percent drop -- while those from industrial sectors like cement and steel tumbled by 17 percent or 145 million tonnes to 704 million tonnes.
Ten analysts polled this month by Reuters on average expect firms regulated under the scheme to have emitted 1.98 billion tonnes of CO2 last year, or some 100 million below the scheme's cap.
The cap-and-trade scheme, the EU's flagship weapon against climate change, covers about half of the bloc's total greenhouse gas emissions.
In the scheme's first phase (2005-2007), emissions rose but an overallocation of permits, called EU Allowances, caused carbon prices to drop to near zero.
Emissions then dropped by 3 percent in 2008, but a tighter cap caused a shortage of permits for the first time, which pushed EUA prices above 20 euros ($26.95) per tonne of CO2.
Preliminary 2009 emissions data for the scheme will be published by the European Commission in early April.
Benchmark EUA prices traded around 13 euros a tonne on Thursday afternoon.
Point Carbon said their estimates include emissions from Norway, not currently a participant in the scheme, and gave the data a margin of error of plus or minus 32 million tonnes. (Reporting by Michael Szabo; Editing by William Hardy)
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